Thursday, April 28, 2011

So I Have the iTouches, Now What?

It's an exciting time at the Creeks!  Both campuses have gotten some iTouches and have begun implementing their use in the classroom.  Now that we have the resources, it's time to figure out the best way to use them!

Here are my top 5 tips for starting out with iTouches:
  1. Take time to play. Become familiar with the apps available to you.  If you don't know how to use them, you won't be able to assist your students to get the most out of them. (And it's fun!! :)
  2. Make an date with your i-Teamer and/or your team to plan.  Remember that technology integration is not about using technology just to use technology.  Work together to find apps that naturally enhance your classroom curriculum.  The iTouches should be another tool in your teacher arsenal. 
  3. Prepare a classroom management plan.  Just like you wouldn't have students on lab computers doing whatever they found, you don't want your kids to be randomly searching and using apps.  Take time to discuss which apps you will be using and behavior expectations at the beginning of every iTouch use.
  4. Think outside of the App.  Remember that apps are just the beginning.  With Safari, you can create web shortcuts easily on your home screen so that students can use the web on the touches.  Also, think about some of the utilities like the camera, voice memos, iTunes, etc.  They can bring a whole new level to your iTouch use.
  5. Start slow and breathe.  There are many resources and channels that can help you to build your knowledge.  No one is an expert over night.  Start by getting comfortable with one or two apps and build.  Use resources like Twitter, YouTube and Podcasts to learn more about what others are doing.  I highly recommend Tony Vincent's Learning in Hand site.

Got some ideas of your own?  Let us know in the comments!!!

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